Anwar: Not my problem if Azmin is offended

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 08 Dec 2019

MELAKA: PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is unfazed that part of his policy speech which touched on the history of Melaka has offended his deputy Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and was accused of opening the floodgates for delegates to make veiled attacks against the latter in their speeches.

“If he is offended, that is his problem, not mine. That is a historical fact in the Sulalatus Salatin (Malay Annals).

“That is Malay history,” he told reporters when asked after leaving the PKR national congress.

Anwar also denied that the walkout involving some 100 participants, which took place after Penang delegate Gooi Hsiao Leung’s speech, had impacted the turnout at the congress.

“There aren’t many (of them who left). The hall was full,” he added.

Some 3,000 delegates attended the congress.

During his policy speech, Anwar warned delegates of traitors within the party and quoted the story of Si Kitol and Raja Mendeliar and Melaka’s history.

He did not mention any names of party leaders.

According to the Malay Annals, Si Kitol and Raja Mendeliar were the traitors that caused the downfall of the Melaka Sultanate to the Portuguese in 1511.

As for pro-Azmin supporters who lambasted the delegates for their speeches which were deemed too antagonistic towards the deputy president, Anwar said that contents of the delegates’ speeches could not be controlled.

Earlier, more than 100 delegates staged a walkout from the congress after claiming that speeches made by other delegates during the congress were mostly critical of Azmin.

Anwar said the party only advised the delegates to refrain from uttering statements that could offend anyone.

“If they want to talk about disciplinary issues or absence from meetings, how can I stop them?

“These delegates are chosen by their respective states, not the secretariat,” said Anwar.

In retaliation, in a joint statement yesterday signed by Azmin and central committee leaders aligned to him, they said the walkout was due to “provocative” speeches by delegates.

The statement added that Anwar’s speech, which began with a story of Si Kitol and Raja Mendeliar on the history of Melaka, had triggered the personal attacks by delegates during the congress.

The leaders who signed the letter were Zuraida Kamaruddin, Tian Chua, Haniza Mohamed Talha, Hilman Idham, Baru Bian, Amirudin Shaari, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Sivarasa Rasiah, among others.

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